Armstrong Takes Overall Tour Lead
LOURDES-HAUTACAM, France (AP) _ Lance Armstrong surged into the overall lead in the Tour de France with a stunning late climb in the Pyrenees that placed him second in Monday’s 11th stage.
Armstrong, who came back from cancer to win last year’s Tour, overtook 1997 winner Marco Pantani and contender Richard Virenque on the final climb.
The only rider the American couldn’t pass was Spain’s Javier Ochoa, who finished first in this year’s first tough climbing stage. Ochoa, who rides for the Kelme team, won the 127-mile stage from Dax to Lourdes-Hautacam in 6 hours, 9 minutes, 32 seconds.
Armstrong has said all along that he can dominate other top riders in the mountains.
The Tour is won and lost in those grueling stages, with good climbers able to make up dozens of minutes in the overall standings.